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Jo was killed for her beliefs: Widower Brendan Cox

By PA Reporters

Published 22/06/2016

The widower of MP Jo Cox has claimed she was killed because of her “very strong” views, and that she was worried about the direction of British politics.

Brendan Cox said the public reaction to her death had been “off the scale” and had made a “really important contribution” to healing their two children.

The MP died after being shot and stabbed in an attack in her Batley and Spen seat in West Yorkshire.

Mr Cox said he would like to see a female MP stand for the seat, suggesting that would be “lovely symbolism”.

Mrs Cox’s death left three-year-old daughter Lejla and son Cuilli (5) without their mum, but Mr Cox said the outpouring of emotion would help them heal.

He told the BBC: “I’ve spent a lot of time in the last couple of days talking to child psychologists, and one of the things they say is that the understanding of it being okay to be sad and to be distressed and to talk about it is really important.

“So just on that very basic level, it makes a really important contribution to their healing, I think. It gives us some hope that something positive can come out of something which is so horrendous... that there can be a reaction to this horrific action.”

Asked whether he was concerned about people using her death in public debate, he said: “She was a politician and she had very strong political views and I believe she was killed because of those views. I think she died because of them, and she would want to stand up for those in death as much as she did in life.”

Mr Cox said his wife had concerns about the culture of politics. “I think she was very worried that the language was coarsening, that people were being driven to take more extreme positions, that people didn’t work with each other as individuals and it was all much too tribal and unthinking,” he added.

“She was particularly worried — we talked about this regularly — particularly worried about the direction of, not just in the UK but globally, the direction of politics, particularly around creating division and playing on people’s worst fears, rather than their best instincts. We talked about that a lot and it worried her.”

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